Monday, November 01, 2010

25 Minutes to Midnight

I just finished the last of my summaries on English Literature and realise that even with the long weekend… I’m have one subject behind.
Will I ever manage to catch up?
These days all I do is sleep, work, study and worry…
I wish I had more hours…
I wish I had a magic wand even if it were just to fix the things in the lives of the people around me… I wish I had the powers of a fairy godmother.
I’m tired, and often I wonder about the sacrifices I’m putting the people around me through just so I can chase after my dream.
The butterfly on my ankle was put there to remind me of my own strength and to remind me what I’ve overcome and am capable of coming through.
These days she looks a bit faded…
Lately it’s my man’s persistence that gets me out of bed, which forces me to concentrate even though it cracks at my nerves to hear the vacuum cleaner accusing me of not participating in the chores…
It seems like he has more faith in me than I do.
My right hand has been substituted by my mother-in-law who is no less than an angel who not only irons baskets full of clothes but even mends an item here and there. I feel guilty when she even offers to do the washing; it seems like even that I can’t get done on time!
Having people work around me makes me feel useless and tardy and embarrassed that I can’t hold my own fort.
But I humbly recognize that without this help, I simply couldn’t embrace this three year project that seems to be more for my self-achievement than an actual career advance.
I learnt early in life that you need to fight for everything you achieve in life.
I’m learning now that you can’t do everything alone.
I still wish I had a magic wand…
…but grateful that I don’t need one to make my niece smile.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morning Murder

photosource: unknown
Every morning the alarm clock goes off just before 6am
This doesn´t mean I go to bed early – it only means I get up early!
It also means that I’m deprived of sleeping time.
So the first thing I do when I seat myself on the train is put by backpack on top of the air-conditioning, lean my head to the side and catch up on my snooze…
43minutes of nap time is crucial for me to arrive at work in a good mood, so why is it that some morning I get off the train wanting to strangle every living thing around me?
I call them chickens because of their annoying cackling!
Unlike normal people who talk quietly on trains – these loud hens have to make sure that everyone on the train carriage knows that they prefer the train to the bus because it´s safer and because there is no traffic to scare them, or that they can hear their neighbour making noise after hours…
Not only do they enlighten every living soul condemned to be sitting in the same carriage with them to knowing this useless piece of information, but they also take 43 whole minutes elaborating on these two pieces of very interesting information to make sure everyone got the picture…
Road Rage?!!! Foul mood?!!!
One morning train ride with these blabbermouths and you´ll also develop homicidal tendencies!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kalash´s Adventures

Photo source: Luis Sardinha

This page has been temporarily taken over by the dog… Kalash… that’s me…. The cute furry thing in the photo above.
My owner has been quite busy as of late and I decided that she wouldn’t mind me loaning her space while she concentrates on other things…
It’s not like I have anything better to do: I eat, I sleep, I play with my toys and I spend the rest of my free time waiting for my owners to come home and dreaming about our next outing!
I love outings! I love it when they take me to new places and I get to run around and sniff new things!
The last trip we went on was awesome!
We went to a village up north called Leomil and stayed in a self-sufficient tourist lodging. The place was awesome! Plenty of space to run around and lots of new people to pet me! Hehehe…
You can´t please everyone though – there was a nasty bitch that seemed to like everyone but me! Nina, the Portuguese shepherd crossed with an Alsatian was ready to pounce on me anytime I got close and she really had a fit when my owners took me to the picnic spot where she likes to sleep… as far as I´m concerned she´s just jealous because Boris, the male, prefers darker and shorter hair such as mine.

Boris - Photo source: Luis Sardinha

I couldn´t make friends with the cats either – none of them would even come close and even Toby, the only one that did come closer, wouldn´t let me sniff him. I reckon that he wouldn´t even stick around if it weren´t for the fact that he was enjoying my owner´s lap! He´s pretty cute when he sticks out his fur and nails and makes funny sounds everytime I come close by – my owner wasn´t impressed though, I don´t think she enjoyed the scratches Toby left her on her neckline. Hehehe… and that´s how you get your owner to divert her undivided attention back to you – better luck next time Toby!

Toby - Photo source: Luis Sardinha

Boris was an awesome buddy though, we went for a walk up a hill to look at the wind power generators and he came along. After an hour I could barely lift my paws but Boris was still ready to go another few kilometres. He only showed a glimpse of weariness when we eventually got to the generators.

wind power generators - Photo source: Luis Sardinha

My owners let us have a rest and it was all downhill from there which was great news because at the rate that my paws were hurting me, I was considering making my owners carry me the rest of the way!
I couldn´t believe my eyes when we finally got to the end of the walk! Green grass, a pool of fresh, cool water and best of all… children to pet me!
Of all people, I love children most of all – they play with me more and pet me longer than adults!

The drink before the fall - Photo source: Luis Sardinha

I was having a drink of fresh cool water from the make-shift pool when I caught a fright and did something silly… I was so concentrated on filling my hump with water that I didn´t notice my owner getting ready for a dive into the pool. I was caught by surprise and instinct kicked in… as I began to run way I forgot that the opposite direction of the wall was a big fat nothing and before I realised it I was falling into thin air and landed on rocks.
It wasn´t too longer after I landed that my owner was next to me feeling me all over – she looked like she´d seen a ghost! I reckon she was checking for broken bones but all I really got was fright, a couple of bruises and a scratched nose. You couldn´t tell that I was bruised though – another advantage of my luscious black coat!
And don´t let this episode fool you into believing it was misfortune – moments later a van pulled up filled with more children and everyone got a turn at giving me some tender loving care! TLC baby! I´d scratch my nose all over again for some more of that! hehehe

TLC!!! Photo source: Luis Sardinha

By the end of the night I could barely move so sore I was from the day´s activities! Not even the smell of barbecued chicken for dinner got my tail wagging! I was grateful when my owners finally let me sleep on my pillow!

If you think I spent the rest of the day resting, you´re sourly mistaken. When my owners go on an outing, they go everywhere!
Early the next day we were off to Sever de Vouga, there we stopped at Cabreira cascade where we were met by fresh water, beautiful scenery and… more people to pet me!
I soon forgot about my aching paws as I splashed around in the small pool where the water poured. My owners first occupied themselves taking photos but soon they also rendered to the fresh water and put on their swimming gear.
Aveiro was next on the itinerary; we had lunch then drove around some more. We stopped for ice-cream just before going to Barra Beach… and ended the trip with a beer at a charming café with a mini golf course. Thankfully my owners decided it was too late to play mini golf, because at this stage my paws were so sore that I needed a little help hopping back into the car.

There´s no place like home and by the time we were on the freeway I decided that I could finally lie down and rest… I wonder where we´re going to next time!... I hope there´s children there!

Exhausted! Photo source: Luis Sardinha

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I do... I still do... I always will.

Photosource: Marco Clara
Staring at the flashing cursor on the blank Microsoft Word page, I have the complete notion that no matter what I write and how well I edit it – no matter how much effort I put into this post, it can never do justice to describe the happiest day of my life.

27th of February 2010

For most a rainy and chilly day better spent indoors – for me, the perfect day to put on the prettiest dress I own and celebrate with the people I care most about the love I share with the man I chose to wake up with every morning for the rest of my life.
Until this day, to me a wedding was nothing more than an expensive party filled with excesses, a ritual unnecessary to unite two people.
People are together because they want to be together and they stay together because they choose to – it’s not a signed contract that guarantees a relationship.
It’s this belief and the witnessing of so many failed marriages that kept me uninterested… until…
He asked… so sweetly, so unexpectedly that disinterest suddenly transformed into something really important, maybe it had always been – the opportunity to celebrate something I knew I already had with the people I care about.
For months, all I could think about was the one day I would join all the people I care about under one roof... it was this thought that kept me focused each time we had to fork out another exorbitant amount of money for something else we hadn’t thought of but needed for that day.
I distinctly recall the panic I felt each time I saw the numbers rising on our budget and the guilt I felt knowing that the amount we spent with that one single day, we could’ve bought our much needed car instead.
However, if I knew then what I know now – even if our wedding had cost the double of what we paid, I’d still do it all over again.
No one can evaluate what that one single day meant to me, it was simply priceless.

One week before

My stomach churned as I picked my mother up at the airport. Although nobody spoke about it, I knew all four of us had the same nervous feeling at the pit of our stomachs.
It would be the first time the four of us were together in nine years and a lot had happened since then.
I knew my parents would be good for my wedding, I also knew that deep emotion and the bringing up of an intense past was inevitable.
It was time to make peace.
There are moments in life so intense that they take you back to another time in life when you were a child and felt incredibly vulnerable – that’s how I felt when I saw my parents greet each other for the first time in a long time…
My little brother had the same expression on his face as I had on mine. I wish he’d known them during those few years when they’d actually been friends.
Seven days gave him that opportunity.
I’ve never felt as much love and support from my parents as I did on the week before I got married.
If ever they made me doubt the whole institution of marriage, on that week they transformed me into a believer. Things might not have worked out for them in the long run – but the companionship they shared made me realise that their ending would’ve been different if they’d done differently – I’m going to do differently.
Luis and I plan to preserve all of what attracted one to another and all that keeps us together – we’re going to keep communicating even well after we race each other on wheelchairs at the nursing home…
It felt reassuring to hear my parents do just that, well into the early hours of the morning. Time has a way of healing so much… I believe these days were just as important to my parents as they were for my brother and I.

One day before the wedding.

It rained and it poured and no planes were coming in or out of Madeira. Nine people meant to be at my wedding waited out at the airport for the rains to subside in the hopes that their much delayed flight would make it out to Lisbon.
It was while the hairdresser put in the curlers that I caved into desperation and cried… at that point it felt like even on my wedding day things had to go wrong, a direct reflection on my life – something always goes wrong.
The amazing thing about women is that they pull you through anything – five strange women that I hardly knew wiped my tears and reminded me that regardless of whether or not those nine people made it – they already showed me how much they care about me just by refusing to give up.
Months before I asked Saint Peter to give me a beautiful sunny wedding day. Saint Peter had never failed me before but the weather promised otherwise… but I know Saint Peter never fails me – so I asked for a change in our contract. I told Saint Peter he could let it rain as much he wanted on my wedding day as long as he stopped the rain in Madeira and let the people I care about come through.
It stopped raining and at two in the morning of my wedding day with curlers in my hair and in my slippers I waited at the airport for that plane to land…

Three hours of sleep later…

I couldn’t be calmer.
I realised that all that I all I could possibly do was already done and that the day would simply play out…
As I arrived from the hairdresser and climbed the stairs I was stopped dead in my tracks by the vision of my little brother in a suit and the purple tie we’d picked out together.
I can’t call my brother “little” anymore – my brother is a tall, handsome and charming young man with a heart of gold and I couldn’t be prouder to be his sister.
At that exact moment, I saw the first moment I saw him, held him and saw him smile at me. I recalled the way he made fists when he didn’t want to sleep and then opened his hands when he finally fell fully asleep; the plastic motorbike he rode around; the day he broke his arm; the day I he disappeared and the day he arrived in Madeira…
I’ve never seen my little brother look more handsome than on my wedding day.

My grandmother helped me put on my dress and my aunts helped.
As tradition calls for, I was late… but surprisingly calm about it… until I was lead to the entrance of the hall and saw him.
My man.
Suddenly every other reason for this day fell away and he was the only reason for being there at that moment. The noise and the people faded and nothing was more important then his eyes looking directly at me.
That’s when I felt it all – the love I felt, the love we share and the love that keeps us together.

Once the “I do´s” were pronounced and the pictures were taken I finally got to walk into that room that fit all the people I care about… to see their faces and feel their smiles and to know how much happiness they wished for us – it was simply overwhelming.
There’s simply no price tag to it.

There were so many special moments…
The children running around, blowing bubbles…
The slide show that told our history with a series of photos no one had seen in a long time…
My dad dancing… my dad dancing!!!
My family… my friends…
…Everyone smiling, everyone enjoying themselves, everyone happy…

There was I moment I looked around me and felt like Luis and I were the luckiest people in the world – to have so many people that care about us, that made an incredible effort to share our day with us.
I felt blessed for our family – mine and Luis’s. We are both blessed with the parents we have and the siblings we were given.
There are simply no words to describe how much I love them and how much I’m grateful to them.

In a blink of an eye the night came to an end… and once again, the people I care about dispersed… I doubt I’ll ever manage to get them all together again… but on that one day – on my wedding day, it happened!

One by one… they left.
My mom left, my little brother left and lastly… my dad left.
There are two kinds of tears – the ones you cry at the “hello” and the ones you cry at the “goodbye”.
In the shortest time, I saw my dad cry tears of joy on his arrival, tears of pride as he saw my brother and I dressed up and then tears of utter despair as I watched him say goodbye to my brother through the review mirror.
From the wedding on, every trip to the airport was a sad one.

On the day my dad left – the house felt so empty.
I felt so empty and so utterly alone – but I wasn’t alone.
Someone was there to hold me while I cried and wipe away my tears.
When I went to bed that someone was next to me and when I woke up he was still there… the man I married, the man that makes me laugh and smile and wake up every morning to life.

Five months later nothing has changed – I have a ring around my finger but the relationship I have with my better half continues as before.
I still believe marriage is overrated and that weddings are expensive parties… but knowing what I know now, even if it had cost the triple of what we paid for it… I would still relive the 27th of February 2010 and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Thank-you to each person that was there… to my parents and to my amazing mother and father in law

Porque o destino se esforçou para nos unir… Para sempre aquele pedacinho.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010´s pick up line of the year!


I sat at one of the tables near the piano at a nearby shopping centre and waited for a friend to arrive for coffee.
I was half listening to what was being played whilst the other half of my mind reflected on some of the tasks I had to do that evening… when Mr. Casanova appeared!
Distracted as I was, I didn’t react at first when he sat down – instead I gave him the questioning look that demanded an explanation…
He gave me a huge grin and asked
“Don’t you want to buy me a cup of coffee?”
At first I thought I hadn’t heard right!
“Excuse me??!”
That’s when he leaned back in his chair and widened his grin
“You know, coffee… I think you want to buy me one”
That’s when I got the full picture

My first reaction was irritation – hadn’t the guy noticed my engagement ring?!
But then I couldn’t help smiling… why wouldn’t I?
There was a well-dressed guy in his late twenties putting in the effort to meet a girl – me!
He wasn’t Mr. Universe but he wasn’t bad looking either…
If he hadn’t noticed the engagement ring then experience told me that flashing it wouldn’t make much of a difference…
So armed with my naughty smile, I leaned in closer and waited for him to do the same before telling him in my sweetest voice:
“If you don’t get up and walk away, I’m going to scream so loud so to catch the attention of every person here.”
He didn’t drop his grin – but he did stand up and leave.
As he walked away I retained my smile and silently thought to myself
“Thanks Stranger – you made my day! Here’s hoping some nice woman buys you that cup of coffee”.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Close Call....

Photosource: Unknown
Everyone knows that it only takes a split second to lose control…
And it’s what happened… I lost it.
It was raining, the tar was wet, the tyres were worn, the turn was sharp and I was going much faster than I ought to…
My mother-in-law stressed and my dad went dead silent as the car’s rear slipped to the right… and then to the left… just before I managed to grasp control of it once again.

In those few seconds which could´ve caused a lot of damage to a car that doesn’t belong to me, all I could think about how the outcome was suddenly out of my hands.
No matter how well I tried to control the car, I knew that the quotient of time versus distance versus a couple more factors would determine my fate.

Three cheers to my guardian angel that saved my ass once again from a devastating result and left me only with a few shattered nerves.
For the safety of my family and the prevention of an expense I currently cannot afford, I am truly grateful.

Yes babes, I promise to go slower when the roads are wet.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Made by Bimby...

Picturesource: Sunshine
What can you accomplish with a Bimby, two hours and two cooks?
-Codfish with chickpeas and cornbread
-Fresh bread
-Garlic and Parsley butter
-Cottage cheese pie
-Pumpkin pie

And this is why I love my Bimby!
Because everything comes out right unless the cook fails to follow the recipe… which I didn’t…
Okay, maybe I had a little oopsie on the cottage cheese pie, but it was still edible!

Considering that for the last four months all my Bimby has made is soup, veggies and fish by vapour, I reckon that if she could talk this weekend she’d be screaming:
“yeah baby! take me on!”… and boy did we!
Invited to a birthday brunch, we decided to take something sweet along and while we were at it, we might as well make something extra…
Nothing like making the most of your investment like going on a cooking spree!
(And leaving the sweet stuff at someone else’s house, hehehe)
My better half and I both agreed that experimenting on our Bimby is something we both been missing… (It’s a pity that it comes with an extra 700gr that I was definitely NOT missing!)

But playing with our toy wasn’t the best part.
It wasn’t the fact that we had so few dishes to wash at the end either.
And although the mouth watering aroma’s sneaking out my kitchen were temptingly inviting…

...I’d say the best part was when he passed me eggs and I passed him the spoon and he put on the oven and I passed him the oven mittens…
Although we worked out a gameplan – the real secret to why we were so quick was the teamwork that flew between us. The fact that we didn’t slow each other down or step on each other’s toes and the fact that the other person was there when an extra hand was needed…

I looked at my man this Sunday and thought to myself “Yeaps, I reckon I can spend a lifetime with you”

…As long as we keep the Bimby, hehehe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy New Year

Photosource: Unknown

There are so many things I want to say… so much to tell… so much to share.
If I could perform one miracle, it would be that at this very instant the whole world could feel what I feel:
Blissfully happy, passionately in love and immensely grateful!
I started off 2010 as a bride, an aunt and 14kg lighter than the previous year.
Yes, 2010 has definitely started off as a busy one: try searching for a size 36 Bordeaux pair of shoes for a 10 year old bridesmaid and you’ll be kept busy for quite a while…
But in all of this stress and chaos, I couldn’t be calmer and all the while more anxious!
Some brides wait for the “I do”, some for the cutting of the cake, others for the first dance as a married couple… I’m waiting for that moment when I have two seconds to look around a hall full of the people I most care about, let myself feel completely overwhelmed with love and joy and thank the heavens for making it happen.
No matter how often I try to imagine it… it just doesn’t feel real quite yet.

I’m an aunt!
To the most beautiful little girl ever! That melts my defences when she pulls faces at me and pulls at my heartstrings with each smile. She wrapped herself around my heart the moment she wrapped her little fingers over my pinky and she reminds me how perfect the world can be each time she breathes and sighs before falling asleep.
There’s another little person in the world for me to love.

In 5 days I’ll be anxiously waiting at the airport for a tall man to walk through a pair of sliding doors.
He’ll be looking for me and when he sees me he’s going to smile with all the joy a father can feel upon seeing his daughter.
Three years of distance will magically disappear in one tight embrace.

Oh there are many things I want to say, so many things I want to share… but right now I’m too busy living them.